The Economics of the Colour Bar
William H. Hutt
William H. Hutt, an Austro-classical economist in South Africa (later he taught at the University of Dallas), explains that apartheid originated as a labor-union mechanism for artificially restricting the supply of labor and thereby driving up wages for the privileged. He further explains that nearly all the ensuing legal disabilities for blacks in South Africa stemmed from the problem of labor union political influence.
As an old-time liberal, he urged the dismantling of the system to forestall a revolutionary environment that would have nationalized industry and socialized the economy. The study first appeared in 1964, and it was incredibly prescient. It remains the definitive study.
The book is available in both pdf and ebook format, and is downloadable for free. It is a must-read for South Africans serious about understanding the true causes and damage of our past. Download the book here.
London: Merritt & Hatcher Ltd., 1964.
The Theory of Collective Bargaining
William H. Hutt
In 1930, W.H. Hutt demonstrated several spectacular points: labor unions cannot lift wages overall; their earnings come at the expense of the consumer; their effect is to cartelize business and reduce free competition to the detriment of everyone. He demonstrated these points with intricate logic that took on the main economic arguments for labor unions. In 1954, this little volume was published in the United States, with a very complimentary essay by none other than Ludwig von Mises, who saw Hutt’s work as valid for the ages. Now this great essay is back in print, and all his points still hold true, particularly the least intuitive one that unions actually benefit some producers at the expense of others, and always harm the consumer. The brevity of this essay is as notable as its power to persuade.
Glencoe, IL: The Free Press, 1954.
The Crusade Against South Africa
Murray N. Rothbard
This article first appeared in The Free Market in July 1985. Rothbard argued that free-market capitalism is the best antidote for racism. In a free market, employers who refuse to hire productive black workers are hurting their own profits and the competitive position of their own company. It is only when the state steps in that the government can socialize the costs of racism and establish an apartheid system.
Read the article here.
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